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July 2006 Entries
Bikesafe assessed Ride

Did my assessed ride this morning, which consists of a ride followed by a motorcycle policeman, then a ride with me following the policeman, then a little bit of the reverse again.

Met up in Peebles, where the Police station has relocated, which I now know due to the map I bought at the petrol station. There were three of us on the Bikesafe run, with two motorcycle police from Lothian and Borders. The other two guys who arrived first (must have been because of the GPS on their bikes) went with one, I went with the other police bike. We got the radios on, so we could listen to what the policemen where saying, the first three headed off and with about 10 minutes head start we headed off too.

Then a mixture of A and B roads, with even splits between the two. A few pointers for my riding:

  • When turning right aim to angle the bike slightly, so the turn to the right is easier. I.e. point the bike at the angle of the give way line to the centre line.
  • Get braking done before leaning the bike over - I've developed a bit of a habit of dragging a bit of rear brake into sharp corners.
  • Think about speed and use the information available on the road - i.e. more paint more danger. Chevrons point to a sharp bend. It's all about stability on a bike, and brakes, cornering and the engine all de-stablise the bike. I.e. don't hoon up to a corner and go heavy on the brakes as the road surface might not lend itself to that approach.
  • Head up through the corners, position left for right hand corners and right for left handers. Watch for oncoming traffic cutting corners and therefore be prepared to compromise visibility for safety.

It was all over too quickly - an experience to hear the commentary picking out all the road features to be seen.

posted @ Sunday, July 30, 2006 10:40 PM | Feedback (1)
Bikesafe Assessed Ride on Sunday

Got a call from Lothian and Borders Police to say they had a couple of slots on their BikeSafe assessed rides in the Borders, and even though I haven't done the theory bit, would I be available.

So I'm off to Peebles Police Station for 09:30 on Sunday to get followed around the roads by a Policeman on a motorbike.

posted @ Friday, July 28, 2006 9:31 PM | Feedback (0)
My motorbike has an oil leak

In the olden days of British Motorbikes, oil leaks were a way of life. If you ever get to visit the Transport Museum in Glasgow, you'll also spot trays under the old cars to catch the odd drips that come with old engines. I don't remember leaks under the bikes they have, but I guess it depends whether they are runners and are oiled up.

My daughter spotted a damp patch under the R1100RS on Friday, and right enough after a bit of checking on my hands and knees it looks like a small leak at the sump plug. I gave it a bit of a tighten, but it is still leaking. Having checked the standard problems with the bike, it appears that corroding alloy washers are a common problem. It will need an oil change to fix though, so I'll be calling the local bike fixing place to get them to do it. It's years since I did an oil change and I don't have the kit anymore, and I reckon buying it would cost as much as getting it done.

Anyway, went out on the bike this morning and it is running well. I just need to keep working on my riding skills :)

posted @ Friday, July 21, 2006 11:31 PM | Feedback (1)
Motorbike Oil Leak Fixed

The thunderstorms locally have put paid to my plans to post a picture of this at the moment, but my oil leak is now hopefully fixed with a new sump plug and washer.

My local bike fixing chap gave me the old plug and washer as a souvenir, the oem equipment BMW alloy washer was corroding and likely the culprit. I'll be watching to see if the new stainless bits do the job.

Close up picture of old scabby corroded washer to follow in the gallery.

posted @ Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:35 PM | Feedback (0)
My new mobile phone is an Orange SPV M600

Somehow I managed to get of an Orange SPV M600, after someone else cancelled an upgrade at the company that supplied me. My number hasn't switched over yet, so I've satisfied myself by getting wifi working and my exchange contacts, tasks and emails sychronised.

First learning point - entering a wpa-psk key into a pda device to get connected up is a pain. It took me all day and four attempts at entering the key to get it right. I almost comtemplated comprimising my home network security, but it worked in the end, and also with 802.11g.

I'm really chuffed, and looking forward to getting more into the pda / GTD thing with it.

I wonder how good it is at making phone calls ? :)

posted @ Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:28 PM | Feedback (2)
Scooby Doo Where are You?

Latest Subaru (Soo-barr-ooo / Scoo - bee - doo - geddit?) appears on Kev's Drive. Excellent News. There is something about a boxer engine running through loud pipes. Although I've actually always thought that the Mitsubishi Evo has a bit more over the Subaru in the looks stakes, the boxer engine used on Subaru's always wins me over.

And Kev's car is a classic from the early cars that you can pick in Gran Turismo. Turbo's mean chips, and ready access to lots of power and potential for engine destruction :)

Of course, my motorbike has a boxer engine too.

posted @ Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:14 PM | Feedback (0)